Thursday, December 14, 2017

1914 postcard: "Road to White Horse Ledge and Echo Lake"


This beautiful old postcard was mailed in August 1914 to a resident of the Clifton Springs (New York) Sanitarium, which is now an apartment building. Published by the Atkinson News Company of Tilton, New Hampshire, it features the "Road to White Horse Ledge and Echo Lake showing Mt. Kearsarge, North Conway, N.H."

White Horse (or Whitehorse) Ledge is "a huge chunk of granite that is host to a wide variety of climbing styles from face climbs to cracks to of course slabs," according to Mountain Project.

Echo Lake, full of trout, covers 38 acres within Franconia Notch State Park in northern New Hampshire. Franconia Notch was best known for the Old Man of the Mountain rock formation, which collapsed in 2003.

Mount Kearsarge is located in southcentral New Hampshire. It rises to nearly 3,000 feet and it is said that you can see the skyscrapers of Boston from its summit on a clear day.

The short note on this postcard states:
I am at Intervale just now. Have been here for two wks. and expect to stay for two more. Was glad to receive your letter. I hope this card will reach you.
Emma B. [?]

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Would you like to play a game of Wizzardz & War Lordz?


Did anyone ever play this computer game? Because I can't find much about it on the Internet. It's the IBM PC game "Wizzardz & War Lordz," which was advertised in the December 1986 issue of Computer Gaming World. The game was offered by Ram Tek Co. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and cost $29.95, which would be the equivalent of about $66 today.

Here's the advertising copy for the game, which was clearly hoping to be a fantasy best-seller alongside the likes of series like Ultima and Wizardry:
"I have slaved in many dungeons, but the one my new master, Vylgar, built for Wizzardz & War Lordz is absolutely the big leagues for hateful mutant warriors like me. Behold! 15 levels, over 500 rooms, hundreds of my fiendish friends. And enough surprises to keep you trapped down here a very, very long time.

"Fear not. You'll have a fighting chance. Design an unlimited number of characters. Choose their race, class and abilities, and bring them six at a time down our 3-D corridors, armed with any of thousands of weapons.

"Take it from a pro monster. This is the biggest, meanest, deadliest dungeon ever. And I love it, because more brave adventurers are challenging Wizzardz & War Lordz every day. A good thing, too, for I grow extremely hungry."

The trademark for Wizzardz & War Lordz was first filed in May 1985 and has long since expired. It was written by James Martin of Fort Wayne, with Thomas Martin also being a co-holder on the trademark. The advertisement for the game appeared in at least two other, earlier issues of CGW.

Does anyone remember this game? Did anyone play it? The only other thing I can find about it on the Internet is that it was quickly featured — just two months ago — on a Lazy Game Reviews video titled "Opening Stuff You Sent Me! October 2017." Here are a couple of screen grabs...


Monday, December 11, 2017

Old postcard: Castle Rock near Santa Barbara, California


Here's a peaceful and secluded spot. The label on the front of this old postcard states "Castle Rock, Santa Barbara, Cal."

(Of course, Santa Barbara, California, is anything but peaceful tonight, as the hellish Thomas Fire has pushed further into Santa Barbara County, leveling hundreds of thousands of acres.)

This Castle Rock is not to be confused with Castle Rock State Park,
Castle Rock Regional Recreation Area, or Castle Rock National Wildlife Refuge, all of which are also located in California. And of course it's not to be confused with the fictional site of all those Stephen King horror tales.

This Castle Rock appears just to be the name of the rock formation that juts out into the Pacific Ocean along this piece of Santa Barbara County coastline. That's it to the left on this postcard, I reckon.

This postcard has survived for over a century. It was mailed to Media, Pennsylvania, in 1915. The short caption states:
6/8/15
We are on our way home — left Los Angeles this morning — leave here to-morrow morning.
MB
The postcard was published by the Souvenir Publishing Company of Los Angeles and San Francisco and has this additional label on the back: "M 22 On the Road of a Thousand Wonders."

Sounds like a great road to me.

Heiligenblut am Großglockner,
a beautiful little spot in Austria


This looks like a nice place to retire to. It's a postcard of the municipality of Heiligenblut am Großglockner (we'll just call it Heiligenblut moving forward) in central Austria. The community of about 1,000 folks is situated within the Alps, at the foot of Grossglockner, which is, at about 12,400 feet, the tallest mountain in Austria.

From Heiligenblut, you can take the scenic Grossglockner High Alpine Road, which climbs to 8,200 feet and offers majestic views of the mountains. (You'll have to wait for it to re-open in May, however. It's closed during the winter.)

Another of Heiligenblut's notable attractions is St. Vincent church, which can be seen on the left side of this postcard. The church is home to a vial that is said to contain the blood of Christ. And thus that's how the town got its name. You can read the story of the "Heiligen Bluet" on this tourism website.

I believe this postcard is from the 1960s. It was mailed with a blue, Deutsche Bundespost stamp that was issued in 1966 and features the Brandenburg Gate. The postmark is too obscured to read the year on it. Here's the message that was written to a family in Irvington, New Jersey:
Aug. 19
Hi!
Here we are in a very quaint town. The country around here is spectacular. Raymond has done lots of the driving. The mt. passes are really something. We had a good flight but this plane that was to pick us up in iceland [sic] was 8 hours late, motor trouble. They set down in Canada for repairs. I was scared to get on the darn thing. Regards from Erna, Max and Raymond.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Science-fiction book cover:
"Invaders from Rigel"


  • Title: Invaders from Rigel
  • Cover blurb: "A Science-Fiction tale of a community that had miraculously changed to metal."
  • Cover typography: Fairly boring
  • Author: Fletcher Pratt (1897-1956)
  • Cover illustrator: Unknown
  • Publisher: Airmont Books (SF-4)
  • Book's first publication: 1960 (though it is an expansion of a magazine novella first written in the early 1930s)
  • Date of this edition: 1976 (Airmont published four editions of this book between 1964 and 1976, with the price starting at 40 cents, rising to 60 cents for the second and third editions, and then peaking at 95 cents for this one. Source: www.isfdb.org)
  • Price: 95 cents
  • Pages: 127
  • Format: Paperback
  • Back-cover blurb excerpt: "But Murray Lee woke up with a feeling of overpowering stiffness in every muscle. He turned over in bed and felt his left elbow, which seemed to be aching particularly — and received the shock of his life. The motion was attended by a creaking clang, and his elbow felt like a complex wheel. Why — he was metal all over!"
  • Silliness Level of that: 8.5 out of 10.
  • First sentence: Murray Lee woke abruptly, the memory of the sound that had roused him drumming at the back of his head, though his conscious mind had been beyond its ambit.
  • Right. What's an ambit? Merriam-Webster defines ambit as "the bounds or limits of a place or district" or "a sphere of action, expression, or influence."
  • Last paragraph: "Ho hum," said Ben Ruby. "The dictator of New York seems to be de trop. How does one get out of here?"
  • Random sentence from middle: The white knight, he wrote in a fit of impish perversity, is climbing up the poker.
  • Goodreads rating: 2.86 stars out of 5.
  • Excerpt of nice review from Amazon.com, written in 2009 by Raymond Mathiesen: "Right from the start of this novel Fletcher Pratt writes with a cheery, devil-may-care attitude that reveals that he has his tongue firmly wedged in his cheek. The book is filled with absurd circumstance, snappy dialogue and incredulous plot twists. The 'science' in the story is so weird that it can't tolerate a moment's serious analysis. Pratt has written a good-natured parody of the type of stories written in the 'Golden Age' of science fiction (1930's to 1950's). The ray guns, strange, malevolent aliens and super-fast flying-craft are all there, but with a mock serious aura. The story is closer to true fantasy, and interestingly Pratt had previously published seven fantasy novels, most of them with a humorous bent."

Friday, December 8, 2017

Two dozen dandy articles to bookmark for December reading

It's that time again!

Here's a roundup of all the interesting writing and photography that caught my eye during the past month.

Instead of sorting it into categories, I'm just going to present the two dozen links in random order. Serious and silly. Present news and history. Sports things and book things. Maybe that will lead to some thoughtful and unexpected connections as your browse through and find something (or multiple somethings) that you want to read during a break from wrapping presents and shoveling snow (if you live in Texas).


But wait. There's more!

For your enjoyment, here are just a few
of the tweets I loved over the past month.
Follow @Papergreat on Twitter to get ALL the retweets.





















Want more great reading suggestions?
Browse through the Friday Reads category.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Photo: My great-great-great-great-
grandmother Sarah


It's family portrait time! Here's a photo of Sarah Craig Yarnall Chandler (1807-1880). If my counting and genealogy skills are correct, Sarah is my great-great-great-great-grandmother. She was a great-grandmother to my great-grandmother, Greta Miriam Chandler Adams (1894-1988), who I write about often, remember well and lived with for a few years.

With frame included, this measures four inches wide. The photograph itself is just 2¼ inches wide. Given how old she looks, I'd say this was taken in the 1860s or 1870s.

Her husband was Thomas Jefferson Chandler (1800-1872) and they had 12 children together. The youngest, Philemma Chandler (1828-1918), is my great-great-great-grandfather. Sarah died on August 27, 1880, in Hockessin, Delaware. That was three years before the founding of the Philadelphia Quakers, the predecessor of the Philadelphia Phillies.

"Hayes Tips and Clues" for
December bulletin boards

We've already been through September, October and November with classroom bulletin-board suggestions from 1978's Hayes Tips and Clues for Every Bulletin Board. So now it's time for December, the school month that is significantly shortened by the holiday break for most Americans.

Here are three of the suggested bulletin boards and their accompanying descriptions for the 12th month of the year.


WISHING
At Christmastime, children are able to display their wishes on the stocking they make from various colors of construction paper. You may want to use commercially-made material for the bricks.


EXTRAS
Extras you can give at Christmas could include kindness, sharing and love. Constructed from colored construction paper, the lettering can be a combination of cut-outs and yarn. The packages are wrapped with Christmas paper and are three-dimensional.


GREAT-GRANDMA'S CHRISTMAS
A good bulletin board to generate a lesson about what Christmas was like in a past era. The items can be made from tagboard.

My personal memories of Christmas in the classroom include paper snowflakes on the windows, Christmas countdown chains made of red and green construction paper, caroling around town in fifth- and sixth-grade chorus, and those softball-sized petrified popcorn balls that should have — but somehow didn't — broken every tooth in your mouth. Share you childhood memories of Christmas in elementary school in the comments section.